Simple conversations engender complicated human interactions. Jeanne is open and even-tempered, a philosophy teacher at a lycée. Her fiancé is away and she doesn't want to stay at his messy...
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Simple conversations engender complicated human interactions. Jeanne is open and even-tempered, a philosophy teacher at a lycée. Her fiancé is away and she doesn't want to stay at his messy flat; she's loaned hers to a cousin, so she accepts the invitation of Natasha, a music student whom she meets at a party, to sleep in her father Igor's bedroom because he's always with his young girlfriend, Eve. Natasha tells Jeanne a story of a missing necklace and her suspicions of Eve. They all meet at dinner, then again at Igor's country house. Is Natasha scheming to get Igor and Jeanne together alone? Once alone, what determines how they choose to act? And the necklace, what of it?Written by
The first in Eric Rohmer's Four Seasons series, A Tale In Springtime is the story of an introverted young girl (Florence Darel) just reaching adulthood who takes a liking to an older woman she meets at a party (Anne Teyssedre) and determines to match her off with her father (Hugues Quester), despite the latter's already having a lover of his own. There is a certain absurdity to this, apparent to both adults, who though both reluctantly attracted to each other resent Darel's attempts at matchmaking. Nevertheless, both of them are intelligent enough to understand that there is no 'proper' way to meet, and are alive to the possibilities that life brings them. Darel, for her part, is a persistent catalyst. As with all Rohmer films, the stage is set, in an age of increasing impermanence and uncertainty in human relationships, for a series of minimalist reflections on love and life.
There is no sense of inevitability in this film; indeed it acknowledges throughout the unpredictable consequences of the choices we make in life. The implicit message of the film is that it is not so much the choices we make, but the cultivation of personal sensibility, awareness of others and honesty that will offer us the greatest chance of happiness. But then again nothing is certain! If, like me, you love Rohmer's films then you will adore the subtlety of this film and enjoy the challenge of absorbing the numerous philosophical reflections that are an essential part of it. The acting is good, and you care about what happens to all three protagonists, although not too much; their dilemmas are our dilemmas too, but whatever choices they make now, they will still be making choices for the rest of their lives.
And that is as it should be.
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